The Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World of Tres - tour stopped at Osaka, Japan, on November 30th and brought forward many updates about the Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind DLC (releasing on January 23rd for PS4 and February 25th for Xbox One). A new December trailer was also teased at the concert, which leaked ahead of the official announcement of the DLC's release date and pre-order commencement during PlayStation's State of Play livestream.
Most of the new information about Re Mind was announced by director Tetsuya Nomura at the evening performance, accompanied by a video shown on the screen. Due to the exclusive nature of the news, this article is a retelling of different reports from a number of the members of the audience and journalists, namely Famitsu, kyo0607_KH, sonzaisinaimono, wotan_ivalicese, finekh_ephemera, mel_lifluous3, and 0408mark58. Credits for translations go to KH13 Staff @Mio-chan and Ryuji, and Keytotruth.
Guest Appearances: Yoko Shimomura, Takeharu Ishimoto & Tsuyoshi Sekito
Following the established setlist for the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World of Tres - concerts, the evening performance showcased music from the series in the first part of the show, and music from Kingdom Hearts III in the second part. Composer Yoko Shimomura made her usual and clamored appearance as well.
In the beginning of the second half, composers Takeharu Ishimoto (who composed music from The Carribean and San Fransokyo and several battle songs) and Tsuyoshi Sekito (who was in charge of Gummi Ship themes and world mini-games' music such as the Little Chef's Bistro and the Kingdom of Corona's festival dance) came on stage.
Ishimoto has been involved in the series since working as a synthesizer operator on Kingdom Hearts II (2005), while Sekito worked on the music arrangement in Birth by Sleep (2010). Ishimoto, who usually sits in front of the computer when writing a song, expressed his appreciation at holding a concert for fans to listen to the music as it is played live. Sekito, who listened to the rehearsals and daytime performance, praised the Osaka Symphony Orchestra for their wonderful performance and was happy that the show was taking place in his hometown.
Guest Appearances: Miyu Irino, Tetsuya Nomura and Ichiro Hazama
After playing the piano for the song 'Rhapsody in Tres for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra', Shimomura welcomed Sora's Japanese voice actor Miyu Irino to the stage. Irino made a notable entrance by saying once of his most famous lines, "My friends are my power!" in Japanese.
Shimomura mentioned Irino singing 'Under the Sea' in Kingdom Hearts II as a memorable scene. "For some reason, Sora has a part where he sings "Darling". It was something decided during production, but why would Sora, who is male, say "Darling" in his singing part?!" said Shimomura with confusion. "But then, when I heard Irino sing that part, my heart skipped a beat," she laughed.
Irino talked about how he was just in middle school when he was introduced to Kingdom Hearts. He saw it in an introductory article in the Weekly Shōnen Magazine. "At that time, I thought 'I have to buy this game when it releases'," he laughed, "And by the time I noticed, I had already spent half of my life playing Sora."
Shimomura then interrupted, "I want to continue talking more, but more guests are coming."
This is when director Tetsuya Nomura and executive producer Ichiro Hazama were greeted to the stage with a great round of applause.
With the upcoming releases of the Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind DLC this winter and Final Fantasy VII Remake on March 3, 2020, Nomura has been very busy. "I think everyone is wondering why we came," he said, laughing, "I really didn't plan on coming to the Osaka performance, but I decided to come because of Irino-kun!"
Irino said, "Thank you!" And the venue erupted with laughter at their seemingly student-master relationship. Irino, who was a middle school student when first recording for Kingdom Hearts, said he had "only fun memories" and that Nomura saw him as an "innocent child". He said recording for Re:coded (2010) was the most difficult thing. Re:coded was released after Kingdom Hearts II, but shows a different version of Sora that is more similar to the one in Kingdom Hearts (2002).
“I didn't think much when I played Sora in Kingdom Hearts, but after Kingdom Hearts II, there were times when it was difficult to become [the younger and data version of] Sora,” he said. Therefore, Nomura kept referring back to the sound sources from the first game all the time, like a "ritual". However, thanks to such 'rituals', Irino said that the inner "engine" that enables him to become Sora is now more efficient. He was consequently able to individualize his various versions of Sora. Kōki Uchiyama, who plays Roxas and Ventus, is also able to go back and forth between the characters as he also performed these 'rituals' of going back to the source audio frequently.
Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind DLC reveals
After the various talks, it was time to reveal more information about Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind. Nomura announced that the new trailer for the DLC is complete and will be released in December along with a release date. (This was subsequently leaked and then officially released during PlayStation's State of Play livestream.)
While the trailer could not be shown at the venue at the time, Nomura had a video ready to show to the audience. Nomura warned against filming the video during the event.
"Don’t film. There are people that shoot and spread the information even when we say to not to."
"No one should shoot! Otherwise Nomura-san won’t give you the trailer!" Irino added. "I don’t know much about overseas, but in Japan, at the KHO concerts you’re not allowed to shoot during the event even when the orchestra is not playing!"
Following the warning, Nomura played the video while talking about the new features present in the upcoming Re Mind DLC.
Data Greeting (or Photo Mode, as reported by many attendees) - An extended version of the camera mode. This can be accessed directly from the Main Menu and includes a Photo Album option; upon accessing this mode, the player is instantly greeted by a scene of Sora facing the sea in Destiny Islands. In this mode, characters, props, effects, locations and camera orientations can be set up freely for shooting. Multiple characters, including enemies, can be set in one photo, and poses and facial expressions can be customized. In the video shown, this mode was used to recreate scenes from past games using Kingdom Hearts III graphics, eg. the scene of Axel confronting Xion in Twilight Town (from 358/2 Days).
- A photo of Xehanort with Meow Wow was also shown, to which Irino commented, "Wow! That's unique!"
- One of the photos seemed to include the new Organizations XIII in a line with Sora in the middle.
- One of the photos shown reportedly included a photo of Sora, Kairi and Riku excitedly looking at a giant pancake in Destiny Islands. Attendee sonzaisinaimono drew the following sketch of the photo; we have edited it to add translations from the original sketch.
- Props included a Frog Prince Dream Eater and props related to bosses defeated when rescuing the Seven Princesses. A sketch of this has been provided by 0408mark58.
- Slideshow - A function that displayes the player's photos in a slideshow while a set music plays in the background.
Premium Menu - This enables the player to adjust several difficulty settings in 'Fast Pass' and 'Black Code'.
- Fast Pass includes adjustments to make the game easier, such as the ability to defeat enemies with a single blow and grand magic and Attractions appearing more frequently (to the point that there can be about 6-7 spells and Attractions stacked up above the Command Menu, as shown in the video).
- Black Code, on the other hand, uses player-imposed restrictions to crank the difficulty up to ludicrous levels, with options such as choosing how much health you can have and restricting the use of Cure and items. ("Banning Cure?! It will be a challenge just to think about how to clear the game..." Irino commented.) In the video shown, the example battle to show these setting was against Marshmallow in Arendelle. The demo player had to constantly block Marshmallow's swiping attacks and had no way to heal (although he did use a Kupo Coin). The video also showed a setting where Sora’s MP and HP would go down gradually during battle. Irino commented, “Why would you do that?!” to which Nomura responded with a laugh.
- Unlike the usual difficulty modes, these settings are customizable during the game. However, these setting must meet certain conditions such as clearing certain missions.
Irino added, “In Kingdom Hearts III there are several battle voices for grunts like 'ha', 'yah', and 'hyaa' with different variations, so I hope you enjoy those."
It was said that these new features will not be showcased in the upcoming trailer (and they weren't).
When the talk about the new Re Mind features ended, Shimomura remained on stage and expressed her gratitude for the concert tour, and the last, encore song 'Chikai -KINGDOM Orchestra Instrumental Version-' was performed.
Kingdom Hearts Orchestra -World of Tres- has now toured all over the world! The two last perfomances will be held in Yokohama, Japan, on December 26th and 27th.
Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World of Tres - Osaka Concert Photo Album
Read our original report of the Osaka concert reveals here.
You can read our report of the Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind State of Play trailer here.